Paid-for adblockers also cutting "whitelist" deals with publishers

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Inaccessible sites is a temporary problem – right now the blockers are all using desktop blocking lists, because those are what exist. Sooner or later, the better mobile ad blockers will start to prune and customize their block lists for mobile.

Also, You can force a non-working page to reload without any content blocking in Safari with a long-press on the reload button, so it’s not really all that much of a thing.

I’m…unsurprised…that the situation is more dramatically awful in ‘mobile’(in general, if something is bad on the desktop, it’ll be at its dystopian apotheosis on mobile, see the dynamics of the ‘f2p’ ecosystem and in-app purchases); but this situation strikes me as dangerously like that of Yelp.

In principle, it’s a win-win for the people you’d actually want winning(so, not really scummy ad exchanges, pop-ups, autoplay video ads, etc; but it doesn’t go nuclear on any and all sites that rely on ads and also protects users from the virulence that they rightly fear from the ad ‘ecosystem’. However, just as Yelp is, in principle, a win-win for all the people you’d actually want winning; but in practice offers substantial temptation for dubiously ethical pressure from Yelp on various businesses, which is extortion for Yelp and buries bad reviews that could save customers from bad results.

On the PC side, Adblock has been playing this game for a while now; but the issue has(in part, not entirely) been mitigated by the fact that it’s easy to change block-list subscriptions, have multiple ones, etc. so Adblock is given some reason not to push it too hard, and they also can’t extort too hard because they can’t promise that what they are selling is actually “exception from adblock”, since they don’t control 3rd party lists.

My understanding is that the mobile ad blockers, at least the popular ones so far, come with hardcoded lists(and, for all I know, will start embedding unique advertising IDs into the suckers who buy them; ‘mobile’ is a terrible place).

I’m not sure how you would make the lockdown-and-tiny-screen world of ‘mobile’ ad-block work as well (and even there it’s only somewhat tepidly) as it does on the desktop, where it is easy to provide more options, easier to have per-page controls for users to deal with websites breaking, and so on; but it’s sadly unsurprising that the situation has gone from ‘Progress!’ to ‘cynical monetization’ within days.


I’m reminded of the old adage, “When you lie down with dogs, burn everything to the ground.”

No sympathy.

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Does no one of note consider the idea to stop making shitty ads as an alternative to all this insanity? Stop tracking, stop lagging, stop hogging my screen, have fewer, more high-quality ads…

It takes effort to find an ad blocker. It’s inconvenient. A hassle. Especially to pay for one, you’ve gotta have SERIOUS issues with ads. If we stop driving people to them, ads can run and most people will see them and the world will continue on apace.


So, With ABP is compromised the question is: Is there another ad blocking plug-in for FireFox or will I have to go back edited HOSTS files

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To be fair, AdBlock Plus is free. At least on the PC side (I’m not aware if they even have a mobile unit, I just use AdAway on the mobile side to block ads at the hosts file level)

Edited to add: couldn’t see in the article, but does ABP allow companies to pay to be on their “non-intrusive ads list” setting? If so, theoretically one simply has to disable that feature. I always leave it turned on, but if it turns out that companies have paid to be on that list, well, that makes me less inclined to leave it on.

uBlock is pretty solid, and Free software.


Unlock Origin is very good, albeit less user friendly. It also has the added benefit of being slightly less of a system hog than ABP, or at least it is in Chrome. I also recommend either Ghostery or Privacy Badger, and Noscript. Noscript is a pain, and I am constantly on the edge of trying living without it, though.

@drew_g damn, you beat me.

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I use ad blockers because ad networks are a major source of malware on the web. Until the ad networks actually actively shut down the malware ads, people will use the ad blockers for self-preservation.


Shitty ads cost money, good ones cost a lot more. And the good ones still have a distinct odor…


Does no one of note consider the idea to stop making shitty ads as an alternative to all this insanity?

No. They really don’t. In fact the more that ad revenues go down the worse they make the ads. The people who make these ads have absolutely no interest in how shitty their ads are—if it can improve a metric they will do it, or even if it can’t but it’s based on some specious yet powerpoint-able interaction principle.

Blockers are the only thing that will ever do anything.


There are forks of adblock that don’t have the built in whitelisting. Adblock edge, for one.


I wonder who will be the X10 of our time a few years from now.

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Thanks for the tip.

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I’ll give it a look see, Thanks

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Went to the Adblock Edge page and found this:

This addon has been discontinued
Anyother forks in the ABP tree?

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Don’t confuse Eyeo’s Adblock Plus with Adblock by Michael and Katie Gundlach, which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t engage in the mentioned shenanigans.

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